What to say and what to bake

Inspiration comes and goes. Search for it and you can’t find it, as hard as you think and look it just come. So stop and do something completely different and all of a sudden the idea/s come flooding.

I have tried with this blog to try and both be creative with something new and also to create cakes and bakes that vaguely replicate what is already available for the ‘normal’ eaters. It’s those new and creative bakes that are the stumbling block. It’s like I need a muse, someone to bounce ideas with/off and  develop them, or just someone there! Now of course you could say that  that muse is all around me, in a way it is. Something different wouldn’t go amiss.

And yet the bakes over on my social media outlets continue. I just can’t write them all down in the blog, it would take so much time and your in-boxes would get further full, to the point of being ignored! I’m sure some do that, it’s understandable, we are bombarded everyday, all day, by the next ‘thing’, I may add to that, hence why I have scaled back recently, tried to write more, to give the reader something to read and absorb. Also whether it’s read or not, it gives me a chance to ramble on, it’s very liberating 😀

Currently just over half way through the school summer break, it’s been very different this year. Due to the amount of school holidays and the lack of the holidays given in the commercial world, we’ve all pretty much been apart, it’s how it is, no grumbles, we just get on with it.  It’s given time for reflection and appreciation. Of what and who we have around us. The house has been very quiet in recent weeks with everyone’s coming and goings, too quiet. Almost.  In order to keep busy I’ve been able to feed the creative element in me, to be able to find the missing muse.  Mind you it could just be the summer break and life, that takes priority. Cakes don’t yet pay the bills!

And so to cake…..

Gluten Free Butterscotch Mousse Cake…. not for the faint hearted!

For the cake..

Grease and line 1 x 8″ (20cm) deep cake tin and preheat the oven to gas 3, 160c, 140c fan

  • 300g soft butter
  • 80g Angel Delight Butterscotch flavour !! I have just discovered a 12 serving ‘jar’!!!
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 240g gluten free self raising flour

Cream the butter, Angel Delight and the sugar until light and fluffy – at least 5 minutes in the stand mixer and remember to scrap the sides.

Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Adding a little gluten free flour with each egg if you feel you need to, in order to stop the mix from curdling. Be patient with the sponge and get the eggs beaten in well before adding the next one.

Pour the batter (adding a splash of milk if required, to get that ‘drop’ off the spoon) into the cake tin and bake low and slow for 50 – 55 minutes. Or until and inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin, before removing it and cutting it in half, horizontally.

Why the deep cake tin I hear you ask….?

Well…

For the Mousse..

  • 300g white chocolate
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature – separated
  • 230ml lightly whipped double cream

Over a simmering pan off water, melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl, ensuring NO water gets to the chocolate. Stir regularly so as not to over heat the white chocolate, otherwise it will seize.

Lightly whip the double cream, until just as it comes together and you get a ‘trail’ left behind by the whisk.

Whisk the egg whites until double the volume and they reach stiff peaks (if you turn the bowl upside down, they’ll stay in the bow!)

NOW be careful and don’t panic!!!

The egg yolks should be at room temperature or at least ‘warm’, the white chocolate should also be warm and not set then beat the egg yolks into the white chocolate, one at a time.. The mixture will look as though it has seized and will lump together. GENTLY fold in the egg whites, a third at a time, and the mixture will slowly relax and become more ‘mousse like’.  The gently fold in the lightly whipped cream – looking even more like a mousse.  There may be some lumps in the mix, so put this through a sieve to make a smooth mousse.

To assemble;

Place one half of the cake back into the cleaned, deep cake tin. Cover this with half of the white chocolate mousse. Place the other half of the cake on top of the mousse and cover with the remaining mousse.  Place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

While you wait you could make the butterscotch sauce to go on top;

  • 50g butter
  • 100ml double cream
  • 80g light brown sugar

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, pour in the cream and sugar, bring to a slow simmer, and continue to simmer for about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool, before spreading over the set mousse cake – with in the tin, or once you have removed it prior to serving.

As this is made from raw eggs, only keep this for a couple of days at most.

 

 

 

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Summer is on the way

At last a spell of warm weather.

You may remember that this time last year, we were having our small extension being built. It too was a little on the warm side but we were unable to enjoy the garden. The lovely builders had taken over and it turned into a building site. Those 10 weeks or so seemed to last forever – were we ever going to be able to enjoy opening up the patio doors and enjoy the garden.  A garden that would in fact be an extension itself of the larger kitchen we had created? Fear not, as at last the 2 sets of French doors are fully open, the warm sunlight and air is pouring into the kitchen.  The song birds are singing and feeding off the bird feeder – with the occasional pigeon being shooed off and the radio is happily providing a wonderful summer soundtrack.

Summer is definitely on the way!

The countdown is also on for early summer holibobs, a family trip to Cornwall – we cannot wait! We had once said that we would never need to go back to the same place for a holiday.  There is so much to see – having both had some experience of travelling before we met – you realise that the world is both small and big. Small because really, everything is within easy reach, jumping on a plane a zipping to the other side of the world is relatively simple.  I say relatively, because when you then start to have children the world can then seem big.  Packing for 2 is ridiculously easy, when packing for 4 – 2 of whom are small children –  a holiday take on a whole new meaning. As we found out last year when we travelled to Abu Dhabi. So this year, a staycation. To somewhere we have been before, to a location we know and love. Where we know the children will be able to relax and have fun. To a company – Beach Retreats – that has some rather nice holiday cottages – with a washing machine to relieve the load before returning home and straight back into work! With less than a 5 minute walk to a beach, free of surfers and a gentle (ish) wave on which to body board. We cannot wait. A chance to recharge, re-engage, to take stock, remember who we are and be thankful for the opportunities we have. I almost don’t care what the weather will do – we have wet suits – we can get wet in the sea.  I can almost smell the sea from here.

Cornwall – we are on our way

Oh yes a cake. I was getting carried away.

Preheat the oven to Gas 3, 140c, 130c fan and line a deep 8″ cake tin.

For the cake;

  • 220ml vegetable oil
  • 200g gluten free self raising flour
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 eggs
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 jar (320g) of lemon curd – I used a jar of Co-op All butter Lemon Curd

For the strawberry mousse. For which there are several other recipes on-line.  The addition of the egg whites, makes the covering very light.  You could remove the egg whites and increase the amount of cream to 300ml if you wanted to just use a cream covering.

  • 200g fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 180ml double cream
  • 2 egg whites

Really easy – pop all the ingredients into your mixing bowl (I used the mixing bowl of my stand mixer) and whisk for about 4 – 5 minutes until all the ingredients have fully combined and you have a lovely fluffy mixture. You will need to stop mixing half way through and scrape the sides of the bowl down and give the whisk attachment a little shake as the lemon zest could stick to it, but then continue to whisk.

Pour into the cake tin and bake slowly for 60 – 70 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Allow to cool before carefully, removing from the tin, then fully cool on a wire rack.

Once cool, slice the cake horizontally – to create 3 layers of finished cake.  The cake should be around 6cm high – so slice at 2cm intervals to create 3 fairly even discs.

Place your first disc onto your cake stand, spread with roughly half of the lemon curd, place on a second disc, spread with the remaining half of the jar and place the third and final cake disc on top. Put to one side, covered, until you have made the strawberry mousse.

First of all take 150g of the fresh strawberries and 1 tablespoon of sugar and with a food mixer, blitz to a puree. Or push the strawberries through a fine sieve and add sugar to taste. Add this to the double cream and whisk until thickened and fully blended.

Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until light and fluffy, then add the other tablespoon of caster sugar and whisk in for about a minute.

Mix a third of the egg whites into the cream and strawberry mix.  Then fold in the rest of the egg whites into the cream mixture until you have no fluffs of egg whites. Cover your cake – top and sides – and place in the fridge for around 4 hours – or overnight.

Decorate with the remaining strawberries – slice and serve.